Here's how much Kaley Cuoco is really worth
Let's face it, we're all slightly obsessed with Kaley Cuoco's net worth. There are dozens of articles dissecting her salary and endorsements, and how she spends all that dough. However, it shouldn't be so shocking that The Big Bang Theory actress has done well — after all, she starred on one of the most successful shows in television history for over a decade. What's equally impressive is the fact that that she earned just as much as her male co-stars, which is a battle many fellow actresses are still waging.
Cuoco also made it rain with some high-profile ad campaigns for companies like Toyota, Proactiv, and Priceline. Oh, and by the way, she also married the son of a billionaire, so, yeah, Cuoco is definitely rich. Although that wasn't exactly a secret, any doubt about the star's wealth was likely removed with the reports of her 2018 wedding that included "a massive floral altar in the shape of a horseshoe, a two-story tent flown in from Germany, and circus acts galore" — not to mention her dress that "took 400 hours to make," according to E! News.
Let's get down into the nitty gritty to find out how the real big bang happened in this sitcom star's bank account, as we explore how much Kaley Cuoco is really worth.
Kaley Cuoco is already a 20 year industry vet
She might only be in her thirties, as of this writing, but Kaley Cuoco has been working in the biz for two decades. While everyone might know her as Penny from The Big Bang Theory, she had to work her way up from commercials before she landed her big break. According to Business Insider, Cuoco began working when she was only six years, logging commercials for Barbie and Oscar Mayer between in 1990 and 1991. In 1994, she played a young Ellen DeGeneres on her eponymous series Ellen, and continued paying her dues with small roles in the films Picture Perfect, Mr. Murder, and Growing Up Brody.
You probably don't remember her 90s acting career. It wasn't until she landed on the CBS sitcom Ladies Man that her career really started to gain traction. Then in 2002, she got her big break starring as the oldest daughter, Bridget Hennessy, on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules. The show was canceled after only three seasons. For the next five years Kaley had bigger roles in Charmed, put on a fat suit as the lead in the Lifetime movie, To Be Fat Like Me, and even played a mob boss opposite Megan Fox in Crimes of Fashion. Then in 2007 she landed the role as Penny, the hottie next door in The Big Bang Theory. The rest they say is history and a big fat paycheck.
Big Bang was the big builder of Kaley Cuoco's net worth
While other celebrities are busy diversifying their earnings to build diaper brands and lip liner empires, Kaley Cuoco is content sticking with what she knows — acting. Not that she has to worry too much about her income. In 2018 Forbes listed her income at $24.5 million and stated that "95% of Cuoco's earnings can be attributed to her role on Big Bang Theory."
Of course Kaley had been on the show since 2007 and could demand a higher paycheck by then. According to Business Insider, her original salary was $60,000 per episode. Season 5 bumped her bumped up to $200,000. The cast eventually demanded (and got) $1 million per episode. CBS was probably happy to bump the stars up to a million dollar payday considering that The Big Bang Theory is a history-making show as the longest running multi-cam comedy series in the U.S., according to Deadline. In fact, even after 12 seasons, 18 million people still tuned in to watch its final and 297th episode.
Kaley Cuoco has been a runner-up to another sitcom star for years
If you thought Kaley Cucoco was TV's highest-paid actress, think again. Sure, Cuoco's salary is nothing to laugh at, but she's not even close to the leading lady of Modern Family. According to Forbes, Sofia Vergara earned $42.5 million in 2018, which made her the highest paid television actress for seven straight years in a row. Compare that to Kaley's $24.5 million and you have to wonder what is Sofia is doing to earn nearly twice as much as The Big Bang Theory star.
The answer is her endorsements. She's more than just an actress; she's a businesswoman. Sofia has had endorsement deals with McDonalds, Bally Total Fitness, Covergirl, the beer brand Cerveza Aguila. She even demands money for Twitter and Instagram posts.
Cuoco, on the other has done relatively fewer endorsements, most notably her campaign with with Priceline, in which she starred as the daughter of "The Negotiator," the long-running character played by William Shatner. It's unclear how much Cuoco actually made off of those spots, but perhaps now that she's no longer on The Big Bang Theory, we'll start to see her investing her time in new money-earning projects.
It's good to be Kaley Cuoco's co-star
It's all about girl power for Kaley Cuoco, who reportedly took a pay cut in Seasons 11 and 12 of The Big Bang Theory just to help her co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Raunch get raises, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Prior to the cut she earned $1 million per episode. After the negotiations she dropped to $900,000 per episode. That's $100,000 less for 48 episodes or $4.8 million dollars given away. Still when you have 24 episodes each year earning $900,000 each, that's nothing to cough at.
Bialik and Rauch, on the other hand, reportedly earned around $425,000 per episode — a raise from their starting salaries of $175,000, allowing them to earn $21 million for the new 2-year contract of 48 episodes, according to Variety. Considering that they're not even the original cast members, but were drafted onto the show as girlfriends, that's a lot of money for working on a show for two years. Of course, in order for them to get this payday the other original stars — Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar — also opted to take a voluntary pay cut along with Cuoco.
Kaley Cuoco's furry friends hit her wallet pretty hard, too
Kaley Cuoco doesn't just spend her time rescuing stranded baby sea lions or adopting pit bulls she names Norman, Shirley, and Ruby. Her love of animals is obvious with just a glance at her Instagram, which is full of adorable pics of puppies, horses, and, of course, the aforementioned sea lion. But, The Big Bang Theory actress also spends a lot of cash helping many of Mother Nature's creatures.
According to a 2017 Instagram post, Cuoco pledged "the first $10,000" of the Giving Tuesday fund drive for Paw Works, an adoption agency for dogs in California. Her other charitable efforts are also impressive. Friends of Animals, the Humane Society, Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation, Friends of Animals, and Animal Avengers are a few other charities that have gotten the Kaley touch, per CBS's Watch! While it's not entirely clear how much of her net worth she gives to these organizations, one thing is clear; she's a big earner with a big heart.
Kaley Cuoco's custom LA manse was fit for a Kardashian
We're not sure if Kaley Cuoco is a fan of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but she did buy Khloé Kardashian and Lamar Odom's Mulholland Park mansion for nearly $5.5 million in 2014. It's a dream house decorated by celebrity interior decorator, Jeff Andrews, who, according to People, is so close with Cuoco that she wrote the forward in his book: "I fell in love with the house, but also everything that came with it. The interior decoration, the furniture, the art — I wanted it all!"
And, Cuoco did get it all, purchasing several of the art pieces, and even working with Andrews on decorating her new home with things like Hermes wallpaper which costs $225-$305 per roll. If she's willing to spend that on a wall in her breakfast nook, you can only imagine what the actress spent on the custom rug and leather swing chair in her living room (per People). Since The Big Bang Theory star made those renovations, she's put the nearly 8,000 square foot villa on the market. As of this writing, it's listed for $5.9 million.
There are many potentially profitable irons in the fire for Kaley Cuoco
Fans of Kaley Cuoco won't have to wait too long to see her again … or hear her. She joined the DC Universe, voicing Harley Quinn in an animated series that she told EW would see the classic comic book villain transform into the "best badass supervillain that there is." It's a far cry from her good girl image on The Big Bang Theory, but everyone has to embrace their inner dark side at some point, right? There's no word yet on what her salary might be. Yet, that's not all that will keep Cuoco busy post-Big Bang.
She also has a production company called Yes, Norman Productions, which tracks with her ongoing career vision. "I want to be a full-on girl boss," Cuoco told Cosmopolitan in 2018. That dream has become a reality since Yes, Norman Productions landed a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. TV, according to Deadline. As part of the deal, Cuoco is producing Flight Attendant, a limited series in which she will star, and if you think it's a comedy or sitcom, think again. It's based off of Chris Bohjalian's 2018 novel about a flight attendant who wakes up in Dubai next to a dead body.
As if that's not enough on her plate, Cuoco also hosts a YouTube series, The Great Travel Hack, in partnership with Shell — yes the energy giant. As of this writing, the pilot episode has over 14 million views.
Did we mention that Kaley Cuoco's husband is rich?
Kaley Cuoco told Women's Health in 2018 that she'd be fine if her husband left her, because she's financially independent. After two years of dating Karl Cook (above), he proposed to the actress with a $65,000 2.5 carat ring rom Red C Jewels. In June 2018, the couple tied the knot in a ceremony officiated by Kaley's sister Briana, and for the next year, the couple happily traveled the world posting their photos on Instagram.
While Cuoco has clearly amassed her own wealth, Cook comes from a well-to-do family. And, when we say wealthy we mean he is the son of billionaire Scott Cook. Karl works as a professional equestrian and in 2016 alone, he won the SmartPak Grand Prix and the $25,500 prize in 2016, as well as the UltraOz Jumper prize of $15,000, according to E! News. While he's earning an honest living from his horses, it pales in comparison with the $4.3 billion that his father has amassed (per Forbes' July 2019 assessment) from the tax software firm Intuit that he founded in 1983. The company also founded QuickBooks and TurboTax. So, Karl and Kaley probably don't have to worry much about money for the rest of their lives, as Karl is Scott's only son, and presumable heir to his tech fortune. It's safe to say that Kaley definitely married up.